Most people know that bananas are healthy and are one of the best sources of potassium (K+). Bananas are also rich in magnesium (Mg++) and iron (Fe++). Adding a banana to your daily diet helps give your body an essential mix of nutrients, vitamins (A, B6 and C) and fibers. Bananas are pretty tasty too and are available in all supermarkets worldwide.
Welcome to the world of monkeys
I once heard a joke about bananas when I was in college which I find really amusing and that’s why I still love to crack it every time I see friends and colleagues eating a banana. This joke centers on a conversation that a Filipino guy had with his American friend.
American guy (AG): “Hey man, what’s your favorite fruit?”
Filipino guy (FG): “Hmmmm … I love apples!” (Please note that we don’t grow apple trees in the Philippines and apples used to be expensive in the market because they’re imported.)
AG: “Apples? Do you know that in America apples are only for the poor?”
The Filipino guy was embarrassed but still managed to smile and said:
FG: “Is that so? Anyway, what about you man, what’s your favorite fruit?”
AG: (With feelings) “Oh I love bananas, they’re so good! No, not just good. They taste really great!”
FG: (Trying to contain his laughter) “Bananas! Really? Do you know that in the Philippines bananas are just for monkeys?”
Why should you eat a banana everyday
So why should you eat at least one banana a day? What other reasons should you have other than being a tasty fruit? Here are some of the best reasons why you should consider including a banana in your daily diet:
1) Bananas are good for the heart.
Do you know that just by eating a banana a day will spare you from heart attack because of its high level of potassium which combats the hardening and narrowing of arteries?
The mineral potassium helps control the electrical balance of your heart. As soon as potassium enters your body, it absorbs directly into your bloodstream through intestinal walls, travels across cell membranes and dissolves in fluids inside of cells to keep the fluid balanced in and around cells, which then keeps electricity flowing throughout your system in order to make your heart beat.
In order to keep your heart healthy and functioning properly, you are to increase your potassium intake while at the same time reducing your intake of sodium and bananas are perfect for the job since they are a high-potassium, low-sodium food. A severe potassium deficiency will cause the heart rhythm to become irregular, which can be deadly.
2) Bananas are good for the brain.
Bananas might be the world’s best brain food. Aside from being a potassium-rich food which keeps the brain sharp, bananas are also rich in magnesium which not only helps the brain to focus but also aids in the conversion of fatty acids into DHA, an important Omega-3. Scientific research has shown an important link between DHA deficiency and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD. Furthermore, bananas are shown to assist in preventing Parkinson’s disease because of its high B vitamins content.
If you are preparing for a big exam, you may want to eat 1-2 bananas while studying. Bananas help improve memory because in addition to potassium and magnesium, they also contain high levels of tryptophan and tyrosine to boost and stabilize your mood to keep you calm, cool and collected.
3) Bananas are good for digestive health.
Bananas are rich in fiber so having one daily aids in keeping your bowel movements regular. Did you know that a six-inch banana has more than 2.5 grams of total fiber and about half of which are insoluble? When an insoluble fiber passes through your digestive tract, it would sweep up waste and helps push it out.
I used to think that bananas get me constipated but I realized it’s actually the opposite because it is rich in fiber. So if you want to keep your bowels healthy and avoid getting constipated, just add 1-2 bananas to your daily diet to get the necessary grams of fiber you need. Bananas are also a pre-biotic source and stimulates the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut and also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
4) Bananas are good for the bones.
Bananas have the ability to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis because they are rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin K. Bananas also contain very high amounts of the prebiotic compound fructooligosaccharide that helps probiotic bacteria produce digestive enzymes that help increase the absorption of calcium.
Calcium is the most important mineral for the bones and if you’re taking calcium supplements, you may want to eat a couple of bananas every day and that will take care of your bone health.
5) Bananas aid in weight loss.
When you are trying to lose weight, finding the right foods to fit into your diet is a challenge. One of the basic rules to consider when trying to shed off those unwanted pounds is to consume calculated calories and burn them accordingly. No matter how much effort you put in the gym, if your diet is not right, you’ll have a hard time losing weight.
Bananas make the perfect fit for you weight loss diet because they are naturally sweet and can satisfy your afternoon sugar cravings. A 6-inch banana contains a minimal 90 calories which is about one-fourth of the calories you would get from a chocolate candy bar.
Bananas which are the most delicious and nutritious fruits suppress the appetite and make you feel fuller for longer hours so you’ll be less likely to overeat at meal times. Bananas also increase the body’s metabolism, thereby lowering the chance of accumulating excess fat cells.
No, bananas aren’t just for monkeys, they are good for you, they’re good for me
There are more reasons for you to eat a banana every day but what I have outlined above should be enough for you to consider adding one in your daily diet. Experts recommend a medium-sized banana each day, preferably in the morning to give you 3 grams of fiber. A banana enriched diet is sure to help you stay healthy so you can get wealthy!
By the way, I know that not everyone can eat fresh bananas so if you’re having a hard time swallowing a fresh one, you may opt to add it in your favorite fruit smoothie. Bananas go well with almost any fruit for shake or smoothie but my favorite so far is avocado-banana smoothie. Check out the video below.